A water skirmish</header>

A water skirmish

First, some explanation - this was an e-mail account of a brief water skirmish (it doesn't deserve to be called a water war) that occurred during fall of my freshman year. I added hypertexting to clear up some definitions and make my glossary even huger, but the actual text included between the horizontal lines is unchanged from when I wrote it in November of 1990. Also, I added an account of later consequences of this skirmish to the end.

I do not know the whole story of the battle however I shall tell all I know of it. Also, my chronology could be off, if so, correct it. Apparently, at approximately 1:30 AM, Sunday night(Monday morning) Stacey, a pikan came to the door. Some traitorous TEP let her in, and in with her came approx. a dozen other pikans. They had come on a commando raid to take back Julie Hollenbackrub, and Laurel. Apparently, Julie was in the front room at the time; Beef upon seeing the pikan horde acted quickly and covered Julie with a blanket. The pikans did not see Julie, so proceeded to start searching the house. Beef beat them up the stairs, and locked 22 so that the pikans could not get to Laurel either.

The first I knew of the raid was when as I was getting into bed in 41, I heard a commotion downstairs, and went and saw the horde outside of 33 on the 3rd landing. Soon after, a few of them came up to search the fourth floor, at which point Schmooz leaped out of the back stairwell with a charged fire extinguisher, and just HOSED them. Then I joined in in the fight for control of the fire extinguisher, which eventually ran out of water. Then the pikans called assembly in the Center Room, they had taken Rebar hostage. I went down to see what they were doing and I was talking to Rebar, when they decided to leave with their TWO hostages.

When I realized that they were including me as one of their hostages, I took off up the center stairwell, upon which a chorus of "After him!" arose from the pikans. I went all the way to the roof stayed out there for a while, and unfortunately came back in right as the pikans entered the Chapter Room. So they saw me flee back to roof, and cornered me there (even if I did try to hide on Noise Bitch's roof) So I was taken prisoner. I was led docilely down to the fourth floor at which point I started putting up a resistance. It was taking approximately 2 pikans to hold me down and there was no way they were going to get me down the stairs without injuring either me or them.

After a while of wrestling on the fourth landing, the counterattack started. Angstful TEPs just LOOKING for a reason to punt exploded out of bathrooms equipped with squirt guns, pitchers, milk jugs and garbage cans filled with water, and started trouncing the pikans. Many stories have been told about the suicidal Schmooz attacks For example, filling up jugs in the upstairs kitchen, going out through the basement front door, and coming in through the front door to attack the pikans from behind. The pikan leader called retreat many a time during the fight, but they could not retreat, since a couple of pikans were busy attempting to take me hostage, and other pikans had been taken hostage and kept on the fifth floor.

Eventually, the TEPs decided to just clear the house of pikans (that is besides Julie and Laurel) and so started returning pikan hostages, and posting guards on the stairwells to prevent more pikans from going up. After sweep was complete, the pikans gave up, and after several Danger shirts were distributed, as dry clothing for the pikans, and towels to dry off with, Schmooz I believe drove them back to pika so that they would not freeze solid when crossing the bridge Thus this was the chronicles of the First (Water??) War of the Year 1990 at TEP

Historian de facto

The pikans got back to their house, and were in mortal fear of a counter-attack, because who KNOWS what those crazy TEPs might do? So they spent a few hours getting large sheets of plastic, and covering up couches, their piano, and other things liable to be damaged by water. They took their nice new microwave, and stashed it in the basement so it wouldn't get sprayed, etc.

Now, of course, we knew all this, due to our number of spies within pika. So what did we do? Nothing. We kept on making references to our future counter-attack, and kept them quaking for at least 2 weeks before they realized we weren't going to attack them, and restored their house to normal. Psychological warfare is so much less crude, eh?

A few months later, we finally made our counterattack. Around March of each year, pika has a retreat (RETREAT! RETREAT!!) where they all go off to a cabin and bond and so forth. A few pikans can't make the retreat for one reason or another, but pika as a whole would be relatively unpopulated that weekend. We decided it was the perfect time to strike.

In honor of the recent U.S. excursion in the Persian Gulf (this was March of 1991), the operation was dubbed Rodent Storm (pika being a type of rodent). We had a crack team of 8 or 10 TEPs and allies assemble in the Student Center, and set off. We split into a group of 4 teams, one to handle each floor. The idea was not to cause any damage, but to take the psychological warfare further. Hence we were armed with masking tape, clipboards, and other things to label stuff, as if this were a preliminary invasion force to map out the territory, mark crucial objectives, etc.

We stopped before entering pika, synchronized watches, and split into two groups, one to enter by the front door, one to enter by the back door (we had two pika house keys due to our infiltrators). We stormed in, and began our work. I was on the ground floor squad, where we first took our clipboards, and made quick sketches of the floor. Then we started labelling different areas: the kitchen sink was now an "Ammo depot," the piano was "Civilian target, do not attack," etc etc. Twas amusing. I heard that Julie/Laurel's room was labelled "Friendly Bunker," and that Schmooz had fun in the basement labelling things L1, L2, L3, L4, L6 (no L5, but he was hoping they would spend time looking for it).

The pikans that were there of course were too utterly stunned to figure out what was going on right away. We had set our ETD at 5 minutes from entry, and it worked beautifully. We were in the back area of the ground floor by that point, tracing water pipes for amusement, I glanced at my watch, saw we had 10 seconds, and we started to move. We came out of the back area, the two teams from the upper floors were coming down the stairs, the basement team was coming up the stairs, and we went out the front door as a unified team once again in single file. It was a fairly impressive sight to see our timing work so nicely.

As we were walking back, we were discussing how it had worked, and it seemed like 5 minutes had been a good time to choose. The pikans were just beginning to get over their confusion and start putting up a resistance by that point, trying to trap TEPs with rope etc. But we got out without any of our people taken, so all in all, the operation was considered a success, especially since the pikans that were there were so completely freaked out by it. Okay so it's not all that interesting, but it was pretty amusing to us.

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Eric Nehrlich's WWW home page / nehrlich@alum.mit.edu